- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 15, 2003

Lieberman jeered

A month after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s regime, presidential hopeful Sen. Joe Lieberman’s hawkish stance on Iraq remains unpopular with some Democratic audiences.

The Connecticut senator trumpeted his vote to give President Bush the authority to strike Baghdad in a speech Tuesday night to young Democratic voters in New York City and was interrupted by hissing, the Associated Press reports.

“I understand,” he said loudly in the microphone so he could be heard over the jeers. “That’s not the first time I’ve been booed or heckled. But here’s what I want to say — I didn’t go shading it by saying, ‘Yeah, I voted for it but, you know, I didn’t really believe it.’”

Mr. Lieberman did not mention anyone by name, but in the past he has accused Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and fellow presidential rival of being ambivalent about the war.

Tuesday’s event was sponsored by the New York chapter of Democratic Leadership for the 21st Century and was held at the Manhattan nightclub Coda.

Righting a wrong

“A young news reporter is sacked after editors discover he’s been writing fake stories. The embarrassed publication details the deception and issues an earnest apology to readers. Then the chattering classes descend for a news cycle of navel gazing,” Jason L. Riley writes in the Wall Street Journal.

“If the perpetrator is Stephen Glass, the white fabulist fired five years ago from the New Republic magazine, he is just another ethically challenged youngster who made some very bad decisions in life. But if the perpetrator is Jayson Blair, the black fabulist who resigned two weeks ago from the New York Times, he is an example of affirmative action run amok,” said Mr. Riley, a senior editorial-page writer at the Journal.

“Somewhere in between the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1978 Supreme Court Bakke decision on university admissions, blacks forfeited the right to be judged by society as individuals. The most unfortunate consequence of racial preferences is not that they produce the occasional Jayson Blair. (Indeed, the existence of a Stephen Glass would seem to make that link tentative at best.) Far more troubling is that racial preferences, however well intentioned, strip blacks of their individuality, their pride, their humanity.

“Race-based policies make black achievement a white allowance and black failure a group stigma. Which is why so many black journalists hung their heads at the revelation of Mr. Blair’s race. If the Supreme Court, which is expected to rule shortly on racial preferences at the University of Michigan, needs another reason to right a wrong it sanctioned 25 years ago, this is it.”

Challenging filibusters

A Washington-based group filed a lawsuit in federal court yesterday against the U.S. Senate over the filibusters Democrats are using to block two of President Bush’s judicial nominees.

Judicial Watch, a nonprofit legal organization that says it is dedicated to uprooting corruption in government, accuses the Senate of violating the Constitution by allowing a minority in the Senate to block votes on Washington lawyer Miguel Estrada, nominee to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen, nominee to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The filibusters impose “an additional, unconstitutional requirement that judicial nominees be confirmed by a supermajority of 60 votes rather than a simple majority of 51 votes required by Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution,” the group said.

Judicial Watch cites the high number of vacancies in the federal courts, which is not being helped by the filibusters.

“Since its inception in 1994, Judicial Watch Inc. has filed more than 100 lawsuits in state and federal courts across the country in furtherance of its educational mission,” according to the lawsuit. That’s second only to the federal government in the D.C. Circuit, according to the group.

As a result, the lawsuit states, Judicial Watch suffers “significant, irreparable harm” because the dearth of federal judges hurts its ability to file more lawsuits in federal court.

Family feud

“One can only imagine the sorts of disagreements that have taken place in the Clintons’ married life. Now, however, they seem to be disagreeing in their public lives as well,” David Hackett writes at the Weekly Standard Web site (www.weeklystandard.com).

“It was not surprising that the Clintons made outspoken remarks about America’s sluggish economy in recent weeks. As military victory in Iraq became more and more certain, domestic issues were brought back into focus. Democrats who have been outgunned by the administration on foreign affairs are happy to shift the debate to economic subjects where the president seems weaker — no surprise there. What was surprising? First, that the Clintons’ remarks were contradictory, and second, that Bill Clinton has leapt to President Bush’s defense on the economy,” Mr. Hackett said.

“The former president, in a noted April 15 appearance at the annual conference of the Conference Board, sounded bullish on the American economy. He called for a measured perspective on America’s troubles. ‘On balance,’ he said, ‘you should feel very positive about the arc of history and the trajectory on which we are moving.’ Of course America faced economic problems, but ‘there will never be a problem-free era as long as people are alive on this planet.’ Overall, he concluded, ‘the trajectory of the world is, I think, positive since the end of the Cold War, and while there were problems underneath the rosiness of the 1990s, there’s a lot of rosiness under the problems of this decade.’

“Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, held fast to the party line: Things are bad, and it’s all Bush’s fault. The junior New York senator spoke harshly at an April 28 Democratic Party dinner in Southington, Conn. Today, ‘there is an unease’ in America, she said. The root cause of the problem? ‘We are, unfortunately, reaping the bad consequences of a wrong economic policy.’ And of course, there was the obligatory reference to FDR’s predecessor. In her opinion, the Bush administration had put forth ‘the most wrongheaded economic policies that we’ve seen since Herbert Hoover.’”

Voucher supporters

Blacks between the ages of 26 and 35 support school vouchers at a rate of 70 percent, according to a survey by the liberal Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.

The group released its report yesterday.

The report stated that 67 percent of Hispanics ages 18 to 25 also supported vouchers.

At the same time, the study found that 55 percent of whites rated their public schools favorably, as opposed to 35 percent of blacks and 43 percent of Hispanics.

The survey of 2,463 adults was conducted between Sept. 17 and Oct. 21 and has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

Overdue tax bill

Dick Morris, the former pollster in President Clinton’s White House who resigned over a sex scandal, is one of the top tax delinquents in Connecticut, according to the state’s revenue department.

Mr. Morris, who is a commentator for Fox News Channel, owes $257,624 in income tax, making him No. 6 among the state’s top 100 delinquent taxpayers, the department said.

Connecticut’s Department of Revenue Services posted the list of those “deficient in excess of 90 days as of April 1” on its Web site, Reuters news agency reports.

Jacksonville winner

Republican businessman John Peyton won his bid to become mayor of Jacksonville, Fla., defeating Sheriff Nat Glover.

“It’s about unity now. It’s about bringing people together,” Mr. Peyton said Tuesday after winning 133,408 votes to Mr. Glover’s 96,603 votes.

Mr. Glover, who is Florida’s first elected black sheriff in over a century, was gracious in defeat, the Associated Press reports. “I’ve always said the people get it right,” the Democrat said.

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